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A special series for armchair travelers
Dear Friends,

Want to learn more about the culture and history of Peru? From the rainforests of the Amazon, to the Sacred Valley of the Inca, to the Nazca Lines in the south, Peru is a rich environmental and archeological tapestry stretching back over two thousand years.

Andean Textile Arts is proud to bring you a limited series of Zoom talks from Raul Jaimes Callañaupa. Named one of the “Best of the Best” tour guides by Overseas Adventure Travel, Raul has been leading tours in Bolivia and Peru for twenty-three years, including those for Andean Textile Arts. A native of Chinchero, Peru, and the son and grandson of weavers, Raul is passionate about sharing Andean culture. His deep and broad knowledge is only matched by his charisma and charm, making every lecture surprising, fascinating, and delightful.

The cost of each Zoom talk is $20, to help support Andean weaving communities. Each lecture will include a Q&A session. Raul’s presentation will be recorded and registrants will receive a link to watch the day following each talk.
The four lectures will take place Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. PDT), beginning April 20. Scroll down for descriptions and registration links.
The Amazon Thursday, April 20 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. PDT)

Get ready for some eye-popping statistics. The Amazon River basin is home to the largest rainforest on earth, and covers some forty percent of South America. It is also one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet, home to over three million species. (All of North America has fewer than seven thousand.)
Raul will guide us over mountains, across rivers, and down jungle paths through some of Peru’s great national parks, many of which have limited access and require special permits to enter. Meet mysterious jaguars, multitudes of colorful birds, coy capybaras, and other river denizens. Learn how threats to this immense but fragile ecosystem affect us all, and what is being done to save it.
Register for "The Amazon"
Peru is Not Just Machu Picchu Thursday April 27 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. PDT)
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Inca citadel Machu Picchu is the most popular tourist site in Peru. But there are other equally fascinating and mysterious archeological treasures. Raul will discuss three of his personal favorites.
Kuelap. On the northern Peruvian Andes stands the largest stone city in South America. The enigmatic buildings were built by the Chachapoya people (1000 to 1400 CE), and may have housed up to 300,000 people. Abandoned during the Spanish conquest, Kuelap was “rediscovered” in 1843.

The Moche Route. A series of archeological sites of the Moche culture (100-700 CE), the Moche Route includes temples to the sun and moon, and two of Peru’s most famous mummies. The Lord of Sipan is Peru’s King Tut, interred with over 450 gold objects. The Lady of Cao remains one of the most important discoveries in northern Peru. Whether priestess, ruler, or both, the Lady of Cao was undoubtedly the most powerful woman in Peru, and her discovery rewrote the history of women in pre-Hispanic civilizations.

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, The Nazca Lines are a series of petroglyphs in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Created roughly two thousand years ago by shallow cuts in the desert soil, the images portray animals, plants, and geometric designs. Even now their meaning is shrouded in mystery.
Register for "Not Just Machu Picchu"
The Great Inca Trails, Qhapaq Ñan Thursday, May 4 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. PDT)
The Qhapaq Ñan is the largest “monument” in the Americas. This extensive road system, used for trade, communication, and defense, includes over three hundred archaeological sites. Covering more than 30,000 kilometers it is a unique achievement of engineering in the most varied geographical terrains, linking snow-capped mountain ranges of the Andes to the coast, and running through rainforests, fertile valleys, and absolute deserts.
Today the Qhapac Ñan covers the jurisdiction of six countries at national and local levels, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Argentina, and Chile.
Register for "The Great Inca Trails"
Peruvian Festivals Thursday, May 11 at 8:00 p.m. EDT (5:00 p.m. PDT)
Peru’s festivals have many diverse influences. Celebrations stretching back thousands of years before the Inca merged with Catholic rituals introduced by the Spanish. Whatever the influences, each one brims with exultant dancing, singing, and people coming together to celebrate Peruvian culture.
The festival of the Lord of Qoyllur rit’i, the "Lord of the Snow Star" in Quechua, is an important pilgrimage to the snow-capped mountain Sinaqara. Every year thousands of pilgrims from the most remote regions of the southern Peruvian Andes congregate at the site. Fortified by their devotion and faith, they endure high altitudes up to 17,000 feet to worship not only the Catholic god but also the stars, the sunrise, and the mountains.  

Meanwhile, throughout Peru, carnivals with water balloon wars are a mixture of pre-Inca and Inca rituals of fertility, while the Catholic Virgin Mary represents Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
Register for "Peruvian Festivals"
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